Wenn’s „ameiselt“ — Bezeichnungen für das Empfinden von Juckreiz im bairischen Dialekt

Translated title of the contribution: Terms for the feeling of itching in the Bavarian dialect

Barbara Schuster, Alexander Zink, Julia Krause, Anthony Rowley, Johannes Ring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pruritus can have many different causes and is a very subjective sensation. As dialects show a greater diversity of linguistic expressions than standard languages, the description of the sensation of pruritus in a dialect might carry additional information about the quality of pruritus. Method: This cross-sectional study was carried out in Q1/2016 in the rural Bavarian Forest region in Bavaria, Germany. Participants were recruited in the waiting rooms of local doctors. They were asked to complete four sentences composed in the Bavarian dialect in which one word per sentence that signified the sensation of pruritus had been replaced by a blank space. Results: In total, the 1,007 participants (mean age 49.97 years, SD = 15.76; 58.2% female) named 2,870 expressions, 144 excluding duplicates. 98.7% of the expressions could be matched to 13 underlying terms. The most frequent ones were “jucken” (‘to itch’’, 59.5%), “brennen” (‘to burn’, 26.5%), “kribbeln” (no English equivalent, 1.1%), “kratzen” (‘to scratch’, 0.7%) and “beißen” (‘to bite’, 0.6%). The use of the different expressions was strongly situational: In 75% of the cases “brennen” (‘to burn’) was used in the context of contact to a stinging nettle (in German ‘Brennnessel’). Two of the 13 expressions (“kribbeln” and “bitzeln”, no English equivalents) were even used only in this scenario. Discussion: In the Bavarian dialect several different expressions for the sensation of pruritus exist. Although “jucken” (‘to itch’) is the most common expression for the sensation of pruritus, the German medical terms “Pruritus” (‘pruritus’) and “Juckreiz” (‘itch’) don’t do justice to the situational use of expressions in the dialect.

Translated title of the contributionTerms for the feeling of itching in the Bavarian dialect
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalMMW-Fortschritte der Medizin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2018


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